Common name: Ironweed
Ironweed is a tall, clump-forming perennial, growing 5-8 ft. in height. Slightly rough stems bear lance-shaped, deep-green leaves. Small flower heads occur in large, loosely branched, flat-topped, terminal clusters. Flowers are all of the disk type and deep reddish-purple in color. Tall erect stem branches toward the summit, with each branch bearing a cluster of deep lavender to violet flower heads; together, clusters form a loose spray. This often roughish plant is common in wet open bottomland fields.
Habit: Herb (Aster Family)
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep
USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , KY , MA , MD , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Habitat: Moist meadows, pastures & roadsides. Flourishes on slopes, well-drained caliche, and limestone.
Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Is found in moist soils in the wild, but will flourish in regular or dry soil. Tolerates clay and neutral to acidic conditions.
Conditions Comments: Juglone tolerant (can be planted near walnut trees)
Description: Sow seeds in fall or provide cold stratification. Germination is usually low so sow thickly. Also propagated by softwood cuttings taken in late spring or by division of clumps.
Seed Collection: Nutlets mature 3-4 weeks after the blooming period. Store dry in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes
In summer, the flowers are a nectar source of special to bees and butterflies (pollinators) while seed heads attract and feed birds in the fall. This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Why plant natives?
Native plants provide a beautiful, hardy, drought resistant, low maintenance landscape that benefits the environment in many ways. Once established, native plants save time and money by eliminating or significantly reducing the need for water, fertilizers, pesticides and maintenance. Planting natives provides a diverse habitat, shelter and food source for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, and promotes biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.
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